Early Warning Signs of Genocide
Loveland, Elaina, International Educator
Barbara HARFF, professor emerita of the U.S. Naval Academy, developed a methodology to determine which regions in the world are at risk for genocide to occur.
In 1994 Vice President Gore put together a panel of experts (then known as the State Failure Task Force- now the Political Instability Task Force) to improve forecasting of revolutionary and ethnic war, political instability, and "geno/politicides."
"I was the token genocide scholar because I was one of the very few quantitative people in my field and I had developed a dataset identifying 46 cases of genocide and politicide since WWII," says Harff. "I coined the term "politicide" to describe mass slaughters that targeted political and class victims, as in Cambodia. This systematic effort remains the only one currently in use, for example used by the U.S. government and. likely, by Sweden and Switzerland, and possibly the Netherlands."
In the early 2000s, Harff ran a program for the U.S. government tracking high-risk countries identified using the aforementioned model. "I tracked 70 indicators on a daily basis," she explains. "This was a dynamic early warning model that tried to close the gap between the likelihood of genocide and its onset. A very abridged version of early warning indicators is used by the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide, formerly Juan Méndez and later Francis Deng. …